A PAIR of bungling burglars have been jailed after one left his DNA on a vodka bottle and the other hid in a wardrobe before being pushed down the stairs.
Last night one of the pair’s victims told how she and her partner caught him as he cowered in a children’s bedroom.
The antics of Dale Colley, 33, and Daniel Collins, 25, were described as “amateur” by one of their own barristers as they were jailed at Oxford Crown Court.
Victims Leanne Marriott and Rea Phipps had been out for dinner on December 6 with Ms Marriott’s two children when they came home to find Colley cowering in their wardrobe.
He had broken in through a window of their Campbell Road property and attempted to steal fake jewellery and glitter.
Ms Phipps pushed him down the stairs, tripped him up and kicked him while he lay on the ground as Ms Marriott, 30, called the police.
Ms Marriott said: “Each time I come into my house I think that there could be someone here. It was very traumatic for my children with the screaming and the crying. I have never had any experiences like this.”
The nursery nurse at Oxfam added: “We had gone out for dinner so we were home a little later than planned.
“I went to the utility room and noticed the window was wide open and there was a footprint on the floor. My eldest daughter Freya had gone upstairs and seen him go from the bathroom to my bedroom. By then I was running upstairs and I could see something wasn’t right.
“He had taken what he thought was jewellery but was actually glitter.”
After what Ms Marriott described as a “kerfuffle” Colley eventually escaped.
Colley, of Dashwood Road, Rose Hill, was jailed for three years after admitting four burglaries and one theft.
Collins, who was homeless, admitted two burglaries and one theft, and was jailed for 18 months.
Judge Thomas Corrie described Ms Marriott’s and Ms Phipps’ arrest attempt as “courageous and lawful”.
Collins was caught after he drank from a bottle of vodka during a break-in at a house in Church Cowley Road on Thursday, November 22, which both men admitted. He also left DNA on a bottle of sherry during another burglary.
Defending Colley, Timothy Boswell said his client had been the victim of violence during the Campbell Road break in.
But passing sentence Judge Corrie told him: “This young woman manhandled you considerably, but no one would have any sympathy with you for that.
“She was acting lawfully and trying to arrest you.”